May 30, 2011

App Store Reviews as 'Political' Stands

I’ve just finished reviewing the day’s earnings, rankings and reviews courtesy of App Annie, and I came across a gem of a review for Hyperspaces. This is the first time I’ve seen an app review that is ‘politically’ motivated.

##Zero stars for the Mac App Store##

The end of the ‘world wide web’. The supposedly free internet with no boundaries. Political boundaries now apply. To justify enforced geographical extortion. Price-gouging based on location. By Apple, no less, leading the way. First with iTunes, and now this App Store. This app costs 12.99 in the US app store, but 25% more at 15.99 for those of us forced to use the ‘Australian’ app store, which is in fact the very same app store on the same server in the USA. Why? When the current exchange rate dictates the price should be even less than 12.99? Because they can rip us off an extra 25% on every app based on our history of paying more for products due to extra distance shipping etc. Because Apple and this developer are publicly declaring AUSTRALIANS ARE STUPID IGNORANT FOOLS EASILY PARTED WITH THEIR MONEY.And they’re right, because I am buying this app at the gouge-price - but not without a shout in anger. Because if I want this app, I now have no other option as it is not available directly from the developer or other third party site any more where once I could have bought it at the fair price via Paypal etc. I say it is enforced because I used to have a US Apple account for years, before it was even a US account, it was just an Apple account. Then they introduced the ‘US’ and ‘Australian’ versions and no more - they tell me I can only buy from my ‘geographical’ Australian store and nowhere else and have to pay extra for this bs nonsense. So as I see it, any developer who makes their apps only available via this App Store and hence making it my only option, is a knowing party to this price fixing and gouging, and I will accordingly score their app a measly 1 star every time. I can love their app, use their app, recommend their app, but the price gouging overrides everything else. 1 star for Hyperspaces. Zero stars for Apple’s Mac App Store (and iTunes).

I can’t say I disagree with the user’s review of Apple’s price gouging in the Australian market — I think they [Apple] need to come up with a model that better reflects the current economic state of play. I’ll cop the comments about not being able to purchase via my site — for posterity, Hyperspaces is still available for purchase directly from me it’s just not linked from anywhere but inside the demo (erk!).